The power of red makes victors! | HT Tech

The power of red makes victors!

Wearing red seems to give a winning edge to competitors in sports or athletic events, say researchers.

| Updated on: May 19 2005, 11:22 IST

Wearing red seems to give a winning edge to a competitor in sports or athletic events, say researchers.

The discovery, Nature magazine says, comes from an analysis of combat events in last year's Olympic Games in Athens. In four of these events (boxing, tae kwon do, Greco-Roman wrestling and freestyle wrestling) combatants are randomly assigned either blue or red outfits.

But those wearing red won 55 per cent of all competitions, report Russell Hill and Robert Barton of the University of Durham, UK. In bouts deemed to be evenly matched, the bearers of red did even better, winning more than 60 per cent of the time.

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The reasons for this red advantage, researchers say, are unclear. A red face is commonly associated with anger and aggression, so a bright red shirt or headgear may intimidate an opponent, suggests Hill, who unveils his results in Nature.

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Alternatively, red clothes could actually boost the wearer's testosterone levels, he says. 'Maybe you get a surge when you pull on that red shirt.'

Hill and Barton, Nature says, also suggest that red makes teams perform better. They looked at last year's Euro 2004 soccer tournament in Portugal, and in particular at the five teams that wore two different colours, one of them red, in different games during the competition.

Those teams tended to perform better when wearing red as opposed to their other colours, they claim. 'We were surprised at how consistent the effect seems to be,' Hill said.

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First Published Date: 19 May, 11:08 IST